THOMASVILLE — Every Thomas County School System school is expected to benefit if voters approve a 1% education special purpose local option sales tax (ESPLOST) in March.

The question will be on a March 16 ballot, said Frank Scoggins, Thomas County elections supervisor. The ESPLOST will be the only item on the ballot.

The tax would be a continuation of the current ESPLOST.

If approved by voters, ESPLOST V would provide funding for renovations and improvements at every Thomas County school and for construction of a multi-purpose building at Thomas County Central High School, Superintendent Lisa Williams said.

Funds from a new ESPLOST also would pay for technology upgrades, new school buses, textbooks and digital instructional content, and instructional, fine arts and athletic equipment, Williams said.

Opened in 2005, Hand-in-Hand Primary School is 16 years old and in need of new paint and floor covering, new heating and air-conditioning, and roofing upgrades.

Williams said the main building at Garrison-Pilcher, the district’s oldest school that opened in 1969, is being fully modernized using ESPLOST IV funds. ESPLOST V would provide funding to update two Garrison-Pilcher annex buildings and to repave parking lots and driveways.

Constructed in 1993, 28-year-old Cross Creek Elementary School received new heating and air conditioning as part of the ESPLOST IV program. ESPLOST V would provide new windows and doors, modernized restrooms and new paint and floor covering for the school.

Thomas County Middle School opened in 2005, and needs a new roof, new heating and air-conditioning, new ceilings and lights, new floor covering and paint throughout, Williams said. These needs would be met with ESPLOST V.

Thomas County Central High School, which opened 31 years ago, is in need of campus-wide improvements, including new windows and doors, new floor coverings and paint, and new and upgraded parking areas, the superintendent said.

A new multi-purpose building also would be constructed on the high school campus with new ESPLOST funding to provide additional classroom space, a JROTC facility, locker rooms and other athletic facilities.

Funding is needed for improvements to the school system's various athletic fields, Williams said. Funding also would go toward improved drainage and lighting for middle school and high school facilities, she added.

Renovations and updates also are planned for Bishop Hall Charter School and the Renaissance Center, the school district’s alternative school.

With new ESPLOST funding, the school district would complete renovation of buildings on the board of education campus, the original home of Central High School. The 550-seat auditorium located at the board of education, which is used frequently by the community, would be renovated to include new seating, stage curtains and other improvements.

Williams said the school district’s bus garage where the school bus fleet is maintained also would receive improvements, including an expanded parking area, new equipment and more space to maintain the school system’s vehicles.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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